Trumbull – Dear Laddie (no date) and Querida Alfredo From Dan (January 29, 1939)


Dear Laddie:

I am wondering if either of you boys have had a touch of homesickness — if you have missed the old home as much as the old daddy has missed you both.  “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” must have been written by someone who had passed through the experience both of you and we are going through.  Perhaps we will be all the stronger for the experience as long as we don’t let it get us “down”.

Mr. Reyom says he sent you the magazine section of last Sunday’s N. Y. Times in which there is an article on Venezuela.  I sent a similar clipping in the last letter I mailed to Dan.

Mr. Ives is confined to bed with bronchitis and Mrs. I.  has been having considerable difficulty in making the new car start, which evidently is one serious fault with the foreign model. Ced took it down to Bridgeport for her today to leave it at some garage to be looked over and fixed up if possible.

Have you had occasion to use the new set of tools you took down with you or has your work in connection with the Fair prevented your having to “get out and get under”?

Aunt Dorothy is still in N. Y.  We haven’t heard a word from Rusty since you left.

There was another big fire in Bridgeport the other night, corner of Wall and Water, where that auto accessory store is on the ground floor.  There was $100,000 worth of damage done according to the paper.

Dan sent with his last letter a garrapata to Dick, which made quite a hit (the word is hit) excuse it please.  He also sent some seeds to Grandma which she has planted in an old Maxwell House coffee jar and keeps on the kitchen table with her other plants.  Send some more seeds.  It’s interesting to see what they will bring forth — sort of an agricultural grab bag.

Well, Big Ben chimes out the march of time, and so to bed until the hopper of time grinds out more news, if you can dignify it by that name, for me to send on to my Venezuelan branch of the family.

As ever, DAD


Sun. Jan. 29

Querida Alfredo,

Helen arrives on the “Kungshoten” on Feb. 3 at La Guayra and dines in Caracas at noon.  Have the band at the dock to sound mess call.  Give Helen and Mr. Plumb my sincerest regrets tambien.

Jim Shields drives to Caracas this Saturday.  I shall send in some films to be developed.  If reprints are nominal in cost, I should like 3 copies of each, providing they come out well.  I finished the roll already in the camera, and put another in, but the roll in there now feels as if it has gotten wet, and the pictures may be spoiled.

On the way out to-day we saw a snake (Boa, I believe) of which I took a photo.  Later I pursued and Ant-eater, and took a picture of its diminishing stern.

Between now and Sat. I may think of more.  I’ll send further word by way of Jim.  I’m feeling perfectly well to-day.

Hasta luego –


Tomorrow and Friday, I will post a 20 page letter from Lad to the folks at home about his activities from January 20th to January 30th in Venezuela.

Judy Guion



Trumbull – Dear Lad and Dan (2) – News From Trumbull – January 19, 1939



Alfred Peabody Guion in Venezuela in 1939

Page 2       1/19/1939

By the time you will have received this letter, what I am about to write in this paragraph will be old stuff.  The other day Helen Plumb, (sister of Barbara Plumb) who for weeks has been bothered with a persistent cough which she has been unable to discard, informed me she had decided to take a 17-day cruise to the West Indies on a Swedish Line boat which also stopped at La Guayra.  In reading over the travel literature her father became interested and in consequence, they have both made reservations and will sail on the 27th.  Helen has written Lad at my suggestion, not only because there is more likelihood that of the two, he will be more apt to be in Caracas when the boat stops there, but he will also be in a better position to notify Dan than would a letter sent to Dan direct, this on the slight chance that it might just transpire that on that particular day Dan might have to be in Caracas on company business.  We all know how slight the chance is, but stranger things than that HAVE happened.  Helen spoke of trying to take down to you, Dan, some of the things you wrote Lad you would like to have him bring down for you, which letter arrived after he had sailed.

There has just been published a new book called “Venezuela” by Erna Ferguson which is an account of her travels through your adopted country.  I got a copy of it from the Library and have just started to read it.  Aunt Helen glanced over it and says it is nothing to rave about and apparently is more of a surface account of the ways and not as one would write, who had actually lived intimately with the natives.

Things here at home are pursuing the even tenor of their ways, just as you have known them, Trumbull affairs are also proceeding about as usual, business at the office is still creeping along, not much faster than a walk, and in general, I believe you would find little in the way of change to cause comment.  Gamble disappeared the other day without leaving a trace.  The Ives (neighbors across the street)  naturally feel very bad about it.  No evidence of his having been killed by a car, the dogcatcher knows nothing about it, notices in the paper have brought no answer, and as the dog is not been in the habit of running away and it being only a mutt and has no value in the professional canine world, it is somewhat of a mystery as to just what happened to him.

Have not seen Rusty since the day following Lad’s sailing when I took him down to Bridgeport with me the following morning and left him where he could get a bus for Westport to see his dentist.  Monday of this week I got a letter from Brita asking if I know where he was as they have heard nothing from him for several weeks and were worried as to how he was and whether his abscessed tooth had developed into something serious.  I, of course, could tell them nothing definite.

Dan, in the picture (snapshot) when you are shown standing back of the transit with one peon on your right holding the graduated rod or whatever you call it with a target on it and another fellow with a pajama top at your left, is either of these your friend Jesus?  I didn’t notice your wristwatch.  Is it still in commission?

W E A F has jst gonged 11 P. M., so good night until the next time.


Tomorrow, a letter from Grandpa to Lad and one from Dan to Grandpa, This, so I can devote, Thursday and Friday to a 20-page letter from Lad describing, in detail, from memory, his day to day activities from January 20th to January 30th.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad and Dan (1) – Lots of News From Venezuela – January 19, 1939

                               Town of Trumbull, Connecticut Seal








January 19, 1939

Dear Lad and Dan:

I am full of news tonight — incoming not outgoing news for within the last few hours I have received long letters from both of you — yours, Lad, the long letter you wrote on January 5th from the hotel at Caracas giving a minute, graphic and very complete description of hotel life in Caracas (which letter Celia has been good enough to copy in its entirety and left with us; and yours, Dan, written a long time ago in faint lead pencil on thin paper, a dickens of a job to read it is, too, telling about your experiences when you are on your own without any camp base to depend upon for food.  Day before yesterday I also got your letter sent in Red’s envelope.

Also(Aunt) Helen (Human, wife of Uncle Ted, with whom the boys are employed) gave me yesterday two photos of Dan in his native glory which Ted very kindly sent to me.  Dan, with his goatee, looks like one of Sabatini’s swashbuckling heroes or perhaps a rake in the days of the Three Musketeers.

Lad, I hope the 20 bucks which I sent to you by airmail arrived in time to keep you from starving to death and was in cashable form that entailed no excessive delay in converting into coin of the realm.  I hope you won’t have to wire for any more funds because that last straw would have caused me considerable spinal trouble had I been a camel.  With not a cent yet from the Company on Dan’s account, with charge accounts in Meig’s and Read’s calling for attention, with the money being saved for interest on mortgage and my own life insurance, plus loans to Lad which I expected to be recouped by funds due Dan, I now have exactly 59 cents in the bank, after, Thank God, paying Lad’s insurance premium.  However, Aunt Helen tells me the N. Y. office has assured her that by the end of the month the key log in the jam will have been set in motion and there will be no more delay in payments thereafter.  I HOPE it’s true.

Luckily, Dan, while I had made all arrangements to invest amounts agreed upon in selected securities, I had made no commitments being too old a hand to overlook the fact that a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.  So, we’re all set to go as soon the dry season is over.

For the last several days your native Trumbull has been blanketed with a white blanket of snow.  Dave has been quite thrilled with the opportunity it has given him to try out his new Flexible Flyer, and Dick has been out with his skis.  Yesterday was cold and cloudy.  There have been a few snow flurries today but nothing to write to South America about.


Tomorrow I will post the conclusion to this letter. I will be posting more letters from January, 1939 for the rest of the week.

Judy Guion

Special Picture # 341 – The “Children” in 1992

In 1992, Dan and Paulette (and their children) planned a Family Reunion to be held at the Trumbull House. Family members came from near and far. It was the last time all six children would be together. The  grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s pictures were taken at the top of the long “Steps and Landings, Steps and Landings, Steps and Landings, which went from the front door down to the road. It was a favorite place to play school for my generation. We would start at the bottom and every time you got an answer right, you moved up one step. If you got it wrong, you went down one step. Sometimes it would take hours until someone won.  I had trouble getting these pictures into the post late last night, but I have corrected the problem. I hope you enjoy looking at some family pictures from 1992.


                             Dan, Dave, Lad, Dick, Ced and Biss

1992 version of the picture above

Grandpa and Grandma’s 21 grandchildren (that’s me, 3rd from the right in the back row)

Grandpa and Grandma’s great-grandchildren, 21 in 1992 (currently 49 great-grandchildren and 42 great-great-grandchildren – and still growing)

1992 Guion Family Reunion – everyone taking pictures of the six “children”  sitting on the Summer Porch  (view from the Summer Porch to the Barn)

Tomorrow, I will begin a week of letters written at the end of 1943. 


Trumbull – Dear Lad, Marian, Dan and Dick (1) – Details for Ced’s Trip Home From Alaska – December 12


Trumbull, Conn., Dec. 12, 1943

Dear Lad, Marian, Dan and Dick:

Ced Guion

A letter from Ced:  “ Dec. 2, Seward, Alaska, aboard S.S. ALASKA. Well, I’m on the way. Don’t expect me till I get there tho. It may take me all month the way people talk. I’m set to get to Seattle via the above, but from there ?????  The previous plans fell through as passage out of Juneau couldn’t be booked until Jan. 10th. I may still go up from Seattle to Vancouver to take the C. P. (Canadian Pacific) east, but I’ll decide that after talking to various agents in Seattle. I’ll take anything on rail or by air that will get me East, and even a bus if it comes down to that. I guess one of the railroads will have an empty seat before very long.   The last two weeks have been hectic, what with trying to dispose, loan or otherwise get rid of all my stuff and in collecting clothes, etc., for this trip. Restrictions have been relaxed considerably and all I had to do was to get a permit to depart and return from and to the Territory of Alaska, and on the boat we only need to check our cameras, electric razors, flashlights, binoculars, etc. Baggage isn’t checked otherwise. Seward is sure lots prettier with its post-fire construction. They have very modern fireproof buildings attractively designed. Food is somewhat cheaper and of better quality than that obtainable in Anchorage restaurants. We had a swell trip down in the train today and apparently there are a good many pleasant people making the trip south– many of them friends and acquaintances from Anchorage. My ”cell mate” is a fellow from Anchorage Market whom I’d seen but never had met. He is pleasant seeming and will probably be a good travel companion. He has been up here for 13 years running and hasn’t seen his wife in all that time. The S. S. ALASKA is somewhat smaller than the McKINLEY, but is not too bad a boat. Our stateroom is at the tail end and will probably be plenty rough if we get into any kind of a swell on the Gulf. The McKINLEY, incidentally, is now aground in the Aleutians and has been for over a year. It is gradually disintegrating if it has not already succumbed to the Aleutian storms. Dan and I had a peach of a trip on the poor old boat and I shed a sincere tear for her as she fades out of the picture of picturesque Alaskan transportation. Saw Rusty last week and of course he wanted to be remembered to everyone. I had Thanksgiving dinner with the Morgans and friends at Chuck’s and Florence’s apartment. Keep a candle burning for me. Bon nuit, Ced”. That we will, Ced, old son, and we will fervently hope it won’t have to be a leftover Christmas tree candle, either.

Dan Guion

Dan has made the headlines again. A copy of the London ARC bulletin shows on the front page a picture of Dan pointing out to two buddies the stone decorations on the entrance to the service club he so eloquently described in a recent letter. His letter says he is nursing a cold which stubbornly hangs on (Steer shy of that fine germ, Dan, which we are told is quite prevalent in England these days), is restive under what seems rather foolish censorship rules, and ends:  “I have been naughty again. I left my carbine cocked, which is very wrong when the gun is not being used. To emphasize the importance of my offense I have been restricted to quarters for two nights– which interfered with my educational progress at night school, besides bruising my delicate pride.” Cheer up, Dan, maybe the extra sleep will kill the cold.

I’ll be posting the rest of this letter tomorrow. It includes a discussion of mail service and news from Lad and Marian.

Judy Guion

Voyage to Venezuela (15) – A Few Letters From Dan – December, 1938


Daniel Beck Guion in the field in Venezuela – the fall of 1938

Dear folks,                                                                                                                                                                                          Dec. 1

Things are rather rushed, now, as we approach the dead-line for November.  We have worked every day, rain or shine, and the field work is virtually finished, altho’ there is plenty of office work to be completed before Dec. 4.

Thanksgiving day was quite wet.  I ran levels during daylight and plotted notes after supper.  We had purchased a turkey, but did not use it on Thurs. because Bill Rudolph (Chief of Party) and Dr. Bosnakian were absent.  The only thing of note on that day was the killing of a rattlesnake and the discovery of a bee’s nest (honey).  Incidentally, I have lost Jesus!  I am “in the field” for a re-birth.  Jesus was given to the cook as a helper, but developed a bad cold and had to be sent to Carora until he recovers.  He might come back this week-end.  The cook does not like Jesus’s substitutes and has given us two weeks notice.  Mr. Human brought him from Caracas with excellent recommendations, and the fellow is a marvelous cook (home-made bread – biscuits, pie, cake etc.) but he doesn’t like the weather and the unfavorable labor conditions.  He was satisfied with Jesus, but Jesus left, and the cook tried two or three other peons who either quit or were fired. *

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were days of work without respite.  The first three days were rainy, the last three more sunny with only occasional “freak” showers.  Wet feet from daylight to dark.

*Mr. Human says tell the cook he (Mr. H.) will be at camp in about two weeks to stay a while … Don’t leave till then.

I’m not sure this was the end of the letter. The boys always included a goodbye note and signature.


Obviously there is a letter missing, written the night before, but I do not have it. I think it is remarkable that I have so many letters from sixty years ago.  

Gente mia,                                                                                                                                                                             Mon. Dec. 5

The sequel to last night’s letter follows so closely that it will probably arrive with the same mail, some few days before Xmas.

Mr. Human, Mr. Myers and I rose early this morning, expecting to make the necessary purchases for camp, then leave Carora, Mr. Human going to Barquisimeto with the plans, Mr. Myers and I by hired truck to the mired “Campion”, scene of yesterday’s fiasco.

We left Carora at 10 AM, mas and menos, and tried the better branch of the road to Burere.  A body of water soon put a stop to our plans in that direction so we tried the other road, the road, incidentally, over which I had trudged the night before.  It was a futile alternative, so back to Carora we came, and made arrangements (no ink left) for a mule train to take us to the Campion Manana.  What will transpire then, I cannot say, perhaps we shall find the truck buried under a fresh river, perhaps we shall


This is the end of this letter. I do not have the rest. I also have no record of yesterday’s “fiasco”. I will leave it up to your imagination, using the clues: rain, bad road, mired Cambion (a transport vehicle) and Dan’s truge the night before.


This is just one sheet of paper. I do not know what letter it came with. The stationary is a different size and color, although it was written before Dan knew that Lad was actually coming to join him, probably late November or early December.

Alfred –

Ted, as you may know by now, is trying to get you down here to look after the trucks – the native mechanics are as trustworthy as an old maid on a tear.  I have my fingers crossed ‘til you actually arrive.

Ced – a shame you can’t make it here for the same job, but this job requires real mechanical knowledge on Ford trucks.  Carry on the Guion tradition – “never give up the ship, unless, of course, you want to”.

Biss – I can well imagine how “down-at-the-wheels” poor Willy must be after trying to lead the fast night-life you exact. (Perhaps a reference to Grandpa’s car, a Willys)

Dick – yo no hablo espanol muy bien, pero es no necessito! Los hombres saven!  If you can decipher that, you are on a par with the natives – I did not check with my Spanish books – Quiza mucho errors!

Dave – Still not seasick!

Perriolga – no blackberries acqui!

Grammar – plenty of flowers here, but no way to send you seeds or bulbs.


For posterity –

Carora is a God-forsaken hole, bounded on four sides by Venezuela.  Every-thing here is wonderful except the towns, nuff said.

Next Saturday I will post a letter written by Lad while on board the Santa Rosa which he says will be mailed from Curacao the next day.

Tomorrow, some more Special Pictures.

Next week, letters written near the end of 1943. Lad and Marian have been married for about a month and everyone is looking forward to the holidays.

Judy Guion

The Beginning (62) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Photos through the Years


The Childhood Memories of Trumbull have come to an end. Today I would like to take you back through time with pictures of the children as they grew up in Trumbull. I hope you have enjoyed these childhood memories of a different time and place, written in their own words.


Biss has a broken arm so this would mean the picture was taken in about 1924, when Biss was five years old. 

L to R – Lad, Ced, Biss and Dick


Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion with her children – L to R – Dan, Lad, Ced, Dick and Biss. Since Dick was born in 1920, I think this picture was taken about 1923. The family moved to Trumbull in the middle of December, 1922, they probably were still unpacking and arranging things into 1923. A family Portrait would not have been at the top of the list of things to do.


              Dick, Dan, Ced, Lad and Biss with Mack c. 1924


   Dan, Dave, Lad, Dick, Ced and Biss. Since Dave was born in 1925 and this picture appears to have been taken in the late fall or winter, it probably was taken about 1928.


Back – Cedric, Grandpa, Dan, Biss, Lad, Front – Don Stanley, Dave, Dick, Gwen Stanley. I believe this picture may have been taken in the early fall of 1938, just before Dan left at the end of October for Venezuela. 


Tomorrow, more Special Pictures.

Next week, I will post letters written at the end of 1943. Lad and Marian have only been married about a month and everyone is looking forward to the holidays.

Judy Guion